Social Value & Equity Solutions

Powering change to maximize social equity, community benefits and social sustainability

Aerial view of people on grass and pavement

Social value and social equity are a core part of who we are at Jacobs and are aligned to our values. They are foundational in our approach to sustainability, inclusion and diversity and key services delivered to clients globally. To us, social value and equity is working collaboratively to drive positive impacts and transformative outcomes – socially, environmentally and economically – by putting people and society at the heart of decision making.

We use digital and smart technology to enable data-driven solutions, which helps us identify better ways of approaching projects and programs, unlocking efficiencies and optimizing the value created for society. We work with our clients, partners and supply chains to create impactful solutions that drive a more equitable distribution of benefits for the communities in which we live and work.

At Jacobs, we're invested in creating a more equal society and an enduring legacy, we strive to leave things better than we found them.

  • What is social value? 

    Social value is the total net benefit of a project or investment on society. This includes the confidence people gain when securing meaningful work, the mental health benefits they gain from being able to spend time in nature or in feeling connected to their community and the sense of safety and agency someone with a disability feels when using a public transport system that has been designed to meet their needs. At its core, social value concentrates on the total impact that facilitates a focus on areas which are of the greatest value to society.

  • What is social equity?

    Social equity is about taking tangible action to ensure the social and economic inclusion of all individuals, with a particular focus on underinvested communities and groups with specific vulnerabilities. It's also about driving opportunity for small diverse businesses to engage with the infrastructure supply chain. We provide advisory solutions to ensure that the anticipated societal benefits of infrastructure investment are distributed as fairly as possible across communities and the economy.

Social value and equity assessments are used to identify priorities, for instance in terms of asset management, resilience planning and stormwater management, and lead to strategic investment decisions at a time when maximizing community impact is critical.

Social value is made up of components covering:

  • Mobility
  • Community wellbeing
  • Equality and equity
  • Housing
  • Work
  • Access to vital services
  • Physical and mental health
  • Voice and agency
  • Culture
  • Environment

What we do

We work with public, non-governmental, private and nonprofit clients spanning different sectors and industries to help them realize social value and equity opportunities through their projects, programs and services. We do this by embedding social, economic and environmental benefit generation into delivery to provide positive and transformative outcomes.

  • Male and female shaking hands

    We support clients and projects in understanding social value and equity, defining what this means to them. We establish processes and develop systems to best embed social value and equity principles – whether it’s in policy development or throughout the lifecycle of a program or project.

  • Aerial photo people, grass and pavement

    We support clients and project teams in taking a strategic approach to social value and equity to help them generate and maximize positive and transformative outcomes including social, economic and environmental factors.

  • Two people talking and looking at analytics on a laptop

    We provide clients and project teams with the right tools to robustly measure the impact and understand the value which organizations and supply chains are delivering.

  • Person presenting analytics
    Evidence and improve

    We develop logical reporting mechanisms and governance structures that provide clients and projects with confidence in telling the full story of the value that they create for society.

Featured projects

  • TEAM2100 Thames Barrier
    Thames Tideway Tunnel

    With the project almost 90% complete in May 2023, socio-economic benefits were achieved, building the local economy and leaving a legacy beyond the program.

  • Image of the purple Elizabeth line sign
    The Elizabeth Line

    The project is acting as a catalyst for regeneration across London and delivered more than just a railway. The improved transport links will help in transforming the areas through which it runs – driving development, attracting investment and jobs.

  • Transpennine Route Upgrade Site
    Transpennine Route Upgrade

    The project will achieve far more than improving railway assets — it will enhance lives in a legacy of moving more essential goods by rail, attracting more people to use the train, helping communities prosper, creating jobs for local people and applying decarbonization principles.

Beyond the baseline

Beyond the Baseline How infrastructure can deliver transformative outcomes

In this thought leadership series, we explore how infrastructure projects can leverage the once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver transformative outcomes at scale.

Access series


Social value is a fast-evolving field, and its successful delivery requires a wide range of specialisms in unique areas. Our partner, Simetrica-Jacobs, is a global leader in social value, well-being research and impact evaluation.

Working with clients to optimize and inform even the most complex decisions, Simetrica-Jacobs deploys evidenced approaches combined with innovative and bespoke solutions designed to provide assurance and withstand scrutiny. Helping to shape policies that can change lives, Simetrica-Jacobs has contributed to internationally endorsed methods set out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and government-produced guidelines, including the U.K. Government’s HM Treasury Green Book.

Simetrica-Jacobs has an established track record of helping clients understand, measure and evidence the impact their work has in the real world. Through their research and strategic consultancy, they transform how clients measure what matters most and how they utilize these insights to improve outcomes for individuals, for communities, and for businesses and organizations.

Find out more about Simetrica-Jacobs

Meet some of our social value and equity team

Listen now: Building a social value culture

Michelle Levi joined The Social Value Podcast, hosted by Social Enterprise UK, to discuss the importance of building an organizational culture that supports and champions social value, Jacobs’ own ambitions for social value and the power of local teams.

From our newsroom